- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 20, 2020

President Donald Trump has named Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, as the new acting director of national intelligence, and now the anti-Trumping faction is going nuts, claiming Grenell does not possess the necessary requirements to successfully serve in the position.

Hmm. But Leon Panetta, ex-CIA chief, did? 

In 2009, Barack Obama picked Panetta, the politician-with-no-intel experience, to head the Central Intelligence Agency. There was some outcry from even Democrats.

Yet he still served as top CIA dog.

So what’s wrong with Grenell?

What’s wrong is Grenell is pro-Trump and he’s being appointed to head an agency with a deep state reputation filled with deep state resentments about this president. The left is panicked about the potential for light to shine on their anti-Trump — anti-American — covert activities.

So they’re pretending as if Grenell isn’t the right guy for the job based on his experience.

“Grenell … is known to be fiercely loyal to Trump, but critics have noted that he has no background in intelligence and no top-level management experience,” NPR reported.

And this, from ex-FBI agent Clint Watts, on Twitter: “Grennell as DNI can only be seen as a way for Trump to achieve confirmation bias for his conspiracies & block real analysis and true assessments of threats. Not a serious nominee. How much tax payer money will be used to run down nonsense?”

And this, interestingly enough, from Iran Press: “Trump names incompetent person as acting spy chief.”

Well boo freaking hoo to all that.

Back in 2009, it was this, from The New York Times: “Leon E. Panetta, a former congressman and White House chief of staff, has been selected by President-elect Barack Obama to head the Central Intelligence Agency. The choice, disclosed Monday by Democratic officials, immediately revealed divisions in the party as two senior lawmakers questioned why Mr. Obama would nominate a candidate with limited experience in intelligence matters.”

CNN weighed in as well.

“Could someone without intelligence experience effectively lead the United States’ top spy agency, particularly in a time of war? … Michael Scheuer, a 22-year CIA analyst who worked in tracking Osama bin Laden, likened Panetta to a ‘political hack,’ ” CNN wrote.

And in that CNN piece, Scheuer was then quoted as saying, “[Panetta] clearly has nothing on his curriculum vitae that suggests he should be the candidate for this job. It’s not apparent he has any talent that is pertinent to the job.”

Panetta’s background, at the time, consisted of chief of staff work for Bill Clinton, as well as other political appointments. But he was an outspoken critic of waterboarding — one of Obama’s pet peeves. Voila: qualified.

Voila: picked.

Voila: served.

Grenell, at least, is an ambassador — somebody who has to deal with national security issues while navigating complicated, oft-conflicting waters, while calming and soothing and wheeling-and-dealing with a variety of personalities, all expressing a variety of interests. In other words: Grenell is somebody who at least has some hands-on experience doing exactly what intel folk do.

But Grenell is pro-Trump.

And that’s why the deep state and globalist elites deem him unqualified.

If Panetta was qualified as CIA chief, Grenell is more than qualified as acting director of national intelligence.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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